Photo of students studying at ID Weeks Library

The University of South Dakota has been accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCA) since 1913. Institutional accreditation by the HLC of the NCA provides assurance to prospective students, parents, and others that an institution of higher education meets the agency's clearly stated requirements and criteria. The HLC is an independent organization founded in 1895 as one of six regional institutional accreditors in the United States. The next review will be USD’s Comprehensive Evaluation, scheduled for 2020–21.

USD is rated one of America’s best national universities by U.S. News & World Report and the Princeton Review. It also has been named the state’s top college by Forbes Magazine. Separately U.S. News & World Report has cited the Beacom School of Business, the USD School of Law and the Sanford School of Medicine for academic excellence and value.

Additional accreditations held by schools, colleges and programs at USD:

School of Business

  • Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business International (AACSB) 1949

School of Education

  • National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE/CAEP-Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation) 1956

School of Law

  • Council on the Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar of the American Bar Association (ABA) 1923
  • Council on the Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar of the American Bar Association. Foreign Programs Subcommittee of the Accreditation Committee 2011

Sanford School of Medicine

  • Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME) 1929

Office of Research and Sponsored Programs

  • Association for the Accreditation of Human Research Protection Programs (AAHRPP) 2005
  • Association for Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care (AAALAC) 2009

Addiction Studies


  • National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD) 1979


  • American Chemical Society (ACS) 1941

Clinical Psychology

  • American Psychological Association (APA) 1971

Communications Sciences and Disorders

  • Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology & Speech-Language Pathology of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) 1974

Computer Science

  • Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology, Inc.

Counseling and Psychology in Education

  • Council for Accreditation of Counseling & Related Educational Programs (CACREP) 1993 National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) 2000

Dental Hygiene

  • American Dental Association Commission on Dental Accreditation 1969

Health Services Administration

  • Association of University Programs in Health Administration (AUPHA) 1998

Contemporary Media and Journalism

  • Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism & Mass Communication (ACEJMC) 1997


  • National Association of Schools of Music (NASM) 1956


  • The Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) 1976
  • South Dakota Board of Nursing 2006
  • Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) 2011

Occupational Therapy

  • Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) 1993

Physical Therapy

  • Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE) 1993

Physician Assistant Studies

  • Accreditation Review Commission on Education for Physician Assistants (ARC-PA) 1995

Social Work

  • Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) 1974


  • National Association of Schools for Theatre (NAST) 1991